2019 Home Design Contest

Winners Revealed

Home of the Year – Bob Buescher Homes’ Heron’s Nest
2019 Best Renovated Kitchen – Megan Gaerte, West Central Home
Best Designed Indoor Living Space – Katie Hartzog, Hartzog Interiors
Home of the Year – the kitchen of Heron's Nest by Bob Buescher Homes

For its first annual Best of Home Design contest, the Fort Wayne Magazine SPACES judges were very impressed with the contest’s entries.

Several of the judges commented that based on reviewing the entries, they feel Fort Wayne has come a long way in terms of home design and are really excited to see what is happening in residential construction and design. They loved seeing how builders, interior designers and homeowners are making the spaces their own.

So, first let us recognize and thank our panel of judges: Sharon Eisbart, corporate art consultant; Beth Johnson, executive director of Fort Wayne’s Home Builders Association; Abby Leon, a curator and director of the Paradigm Gallery at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art; Carol Boocher, a kitchen and bath designer with Windows, Doors & More; and Caroline Markley, art director for Fort Wayne magazine.

We truly appreciate their thoughtful review of the entries and managing the difficult task of selecting just one winner for each of the categories: Home Of The Year for new residential construction; Best Renovated Kitchen; and Best Designed Living Space.



Katie Hartzog, Hartzog Interiors

This project was a complete remodel and modernization of a home originally built in 1914. It is located within Fort Wayne’s historic Forest Park Boulevard district. The home was redesigned and given a classic contemporary design.

“It is so neat to see how people are taking Fort Wayne’s older homes and renovating them to give them a more contemporary style with modern functionality but are keeping so many of their classic elements,” said contest judge Abby Leon.

This type of project clearly demonstrates what makes a good designer and Hartzog’s ability to keep track of all of the home’s elements.

“You can go from room to room and easily see how Katie picks up and continues to use specific elements and how the design creates such amazing flow throughout the home,” said contest judge Carol Boocher. “Katie’s ability to beautifully blend so many different textures and elements is awe inspiring. She has such an attention to detail and that is what makes someone a gifted designer – the ability to take care of everything down to the littlest detail that most would easily overlook. Nothing is left to chance with this home’s design.”



Megan Gaerte, West Central Home

The kitchen of this renovated lake home was transformed to create a contemporary space that is warm and inviting. “The design elements are great. The colors and finishes really make the space,” said contest judge Sharon Eisbart. “The space is beautiful and functional.” The modern farmhouse-styled kitchen is well laid out to ensure it is both beautiful and functional.



Bob Buescher Homes’ Heron’s Nest

This Bob Buescher Homes new residential construction is a custom-designed 3,056-square-foot Heron Lake home with five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. Immediately upon entering the home, you are greeted with the open space concept.

The great room features cathedral ceilings with handcrafted wood beams and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The space is filled with natural light and just off the great room is the home’s floating staircase with cable railing.

The judges commented on the home’s craftsmanship, mix of different design styles including a mix of classic and contemporary to create what Abby Leon described as “country modern.”

The judges also commented that the home has a great use of blended textures and a timeless elegance. “Underneath, the home is very traditional. The exterior is very craftsman; but the interior is a blending of different design styles but the colors and textures are cohesive and used throughout the home which helps to bring everything together,” said Boocher. “The home offers a little bit of everything that people see on HGTV. This mixing of styles makes it somewhat eclectic, but this suits the sensibility of homeowners in Fort Wayne and helps to make this home very appealing.”



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